Budgets = priorities

The NC GOP is putting their finishing touches on the budget proposal.  Chris Fitzsimon has a nice take:

No matter how many ways Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders try to deny it, the main reason they are struggling to find enough money to give teachers and state workers a meaningful raise next year is the massive tax cut they passed last summer for the wealthy and out of state corporations.

They based their budget projections for next year on a forecast that the tax cuts would cost the state $438 million. And it turns out that was too optimistic…

And while there is a heated debate about what percentage of the population pays more under the plan and what percentage pays less, there is no dispute that the bulk of the tax cut goes to corporations and folks at the top of the economic ladder. The conservative groups readily admit that. Millionaires, for example, received of a break of more than $10,000.

That leads to the inescapable conclusion that McCrory and the leaders of the General Assembly decided last year that the tax cuts for the wealthy were more important than paying teachers and state employees more.

You may not agree with it, but that was the philosophy behind their budget. The tax cuts were so important that lawmakers also cut funding for textbooks and school supplies and human services programs to pay for them.

The state budget is simply a list of priorities. Tax cuts were the priority. They were made first.

Yep.  And as for more priorities, here’s today’s news:

The Senate budget proposal upends the state Department of Health and Human Services by moving to take away its biggest responsibility, Medicaid. At the same time it would cut thousands of elderly and disabled people, and other beneficiaries with high medical bills, from the government insurance plan.

This appears to be a first step Senate Republicans are proposing to cut Medicaid services and shrink the number of beneficiaries.

The budget includes a provision that would have the state health agency develop proposals by next year for cutting optional Medicaid services for elderly and disabled beneficiaries, limiting coverage to only that required by federal regulations or laws.

Cutting health care for elderly and disabled so rich people can pay less taxes.  I swear, these guys are like Disney villains.  And it just won’t matter enough because most voters just don’t pay enough attention and, even then, these are Republican legislators in gerrymandered Republican districts.  And, unfortunately, most Republican voters apparently aren’t so interested in helping those elderly and disabled freeloaders.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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